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While the museum is temporarily closed we will continue to bring programming to you and your family! We will post fun STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities on our blog that will keep your kids engaged and learning at home through play!

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It’s Science Friday! And below we have some fun science activities that you can easily do at home with your kids! Try out one or all of them and make sure to share your pictures with us on Instagram at #discoverygateway

Homemade Lava Lamp

  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Food Coloring
  • Antacid Tablets
  • A clear bottle or glass
  • Fill the container 1/3 with water and drop in your favorite food color
  • Slowly fill the container, at least to 2/3 full, with vegetable oil. Give it time to settle. It should all float above the colored water.
  • Break up an antacid tablet and drop it in. Watch as colored bubbles race to the top and slowly fall back down.
What’s Happening?:
  • The oil is lighter or less dense than the water, and so it floats above it.
  • As you drop in the antacid, it creates pockets of gas (bubbles), which are lighter than the oil and therefore bubble up to the surface.


Magic Floating Water
  • Water
  • Playing cards (or any flat card)
  • A clear glass, preferably with a skinny mouth
  • A towel
  • Before doing this, make sure your card is wider than the mouth of the glass
  • Fill the glass halfway with water
  • Place the card on top of the glass so it completely covers the mouth
  • Carefully turn the glass upside down while holding the card in place. After it’s flipped let go of the card and the water should stay floating in the glass.
What’s Happening?:
  • There is air pressure all around us, and some of that air pressure is pushing the card up against the glass. Meanwhile the air pressure inside the glass is lower, so it works almost like a vacuum to suck up the card.
  • Water has a special property called adhesion. It sticks to other things, like the card, and doesn’t want to let go, keeping the card and water in place.


Aurora Pastels
  • Black construction paper
  • White paper
  • Oil pastels
  • Paper towel
  • Cut out a wavy design on the white paper.
  • Trace the design  on the black construction paper using an oil pastel.
  • With the white paper still in place, use a paper towel to brush upwards on your tracing, creating blurs and streaks
  • Repeat this multiple times with the same design stencil
What’s Happening? :
  • The northern lights (aurora borealis) are a unique and spectacular phenomenon. They happen when solar winds charge up tiny little particles in the air called electrons. As these electrons are energized they emit crazy colors that we can see in the night sky.